Still at the Old Soldiers’ Home

Continuing on from Lincoln's Cottage we wandered into an area that we might not have been authorized to enter given we did not have visitors passes….    The Old Soldiers' Home. Written under the clock is SHERMAN

The Old Soldier's Home was founded in 1851 when it was called the Armed Forces Retirement Home.  At that time the US Congress legislated a "military asylum"  for invalid and disabled soldiers of the US army.   The Soldiers' Home was officially recognized as being of historic significance in 1974 when four buildings built before the Civil War were designated National Historic Landmarks.    The Soldiers' Home is the last remaining example of three original military asylums established in 1851.

The entrance to the Home is guarded by miniature cannons:  

   

We saw things we might not meant to have been photographing (Yes, it was fully operational).

  The grounds are really lovely:

  

We found an amazing tree propped up on one side

   

A WWII  vet out for his morning stroll asked where we were from (this is when an Australian accent comes in handy) and talked to us at length about this tree which he called a Missouri Hedge Tree (though I couldn't find such a tree in a quick Google search).  After telling us it was the largest hedge tree around he wandered off:   

We found an interesting tower:   -  the sign says DO NOT USE LADDER

We then left the grounds and walked to the nearby US National Cemetery which will be the final resting place of many of the men in the Old Soldiers' Home:  

 

So many graves: 

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27 responses

  1. Wonderful photos. The architecture is so fun to look at. Daunting and sobering…the cemetery pictures. I can almost hear the leaves rustling and smell the autumn smells. Thanks for another great trip!

  2. A wonderful collection of photographs again Emjay.Love the cannon 459 and the old gnarled tree and the ladder warning sign would not have been needed for me.All the gravestones cause me to give thought to the world we live in.

  3. Amazing photos and architecture is simply stunning. I'm glad to see our retired military men given such beautiful grounds upon which to walk. What a sweet place. I'm curious to know what that tower is about!

  4. This is so bittersweet…the thought of the men moving from home to the cemetary is very sad. I understand that such is the course of life, that it ultimately leads to death, but your touching words are a gentle reminder.

  5. My uncle was at the Old Soldier's Home. He had been wounded in Korea. I was in Colorado when he went to live there. Family had taken care of him until that family died.

  6. The photos are fantastic. The Old Soldier's Home is a beautiful building and it's great that veterans have somewhere that will look after them until the end of their days if they require it. To be honest, I haven't a clue what provision our authorities make. I know the Royal British Legion runs some homes because there's one near us. The rows and rows of graves are sad. And also very very neat, perfect rows.

  7. As always your photos are great got a good eye for the stuff that would make a person want to go visit there with the day of remembrance coming up makes the dryness of written history come to life when there is such beautiful objects there for one to see touch and hear the sounds echoing around you!

  8. Thankyou so much GOF re the photos. Ladders are one of my very real fears – it is this factor that prevents me going over the Sydney Harbour Bridge arch! So many gravestones and all for servicemen in various wars – yes, it does give reason to pause and think about the world.

  9. I think the tower thing is just used for storage of garden tools -there was an iron gate and the manservant went inside…. I'm sure it's history is much more interesting than that though 🙂 . The grounds were gorgeous – especially compared to some "assisted living" places around.

  10. That is interesting re your uncle – it is nice to know someone with a connection to the place. While I can't attest to the care, the grounds are really gorgeous and they also have a very nice looking golf course.

  11. Thank you Vicola re the photos. The cemetery did have a pall of sadness but some amazing military precision went into lining up the graves in those neat rows. I can imagine the old soldier's wandering the lovely grounds and sitting in quiet reflection on one of the bench seats.

  12. Thank you Jamie. I hope that I do bring a few things to life for people. Here they call 11/11 Veteran's Day – I'm sure they will have an event at the Old Soldiers' Home that day though I'm not sure if it would be open to the public.

  13. Thank you so very much for the links! Armed with the name osage I was able to pull up many photos online and yes I think that is the tree. Known also as hedge, hedge apple, bodark (from the French bois d'arc, meaning wood of the bow), and bowwood. It is native to a small area of eastern Oklahoma & portions of Missouri (hence the old soldier referring to it as Missouri Hedge), Texas & Arkansas. I am so glad you dropped by! 🙂

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